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The pension options available from employers vary greatly. We can help you to make sense of this.
If you are an employee you may have been in more than one pension scheme during your career and it can be challenging establishing how much is in each of them and what you options are.

If you are an employer you may already offer a pension to your employees and could be considering reviewing this to make sure it is the best option. If you do not currently offer a pension to your employees, you may want to visit our automatic enrolment page to find out more about your requirements as an employer.

Either way, this is where our independent financial advisers can help.

The Alan Boswell Group Difference

ABG Difference

We aim to build long-term relationships between our clients and our qualified independent financial advisers. Whether you are an employee or an employer, our advisers will take the time to get to know you and your objectives and to help you establish the most appropriate pension solution.

Corporate Pensions in detail

  • Group personal pensions – An employer can help set up a pension arrangement that groups together individual personal pension plans known as a group personal pension plan. It has the advantage over individual arrangements that the employer often pays into the plan and they can also negotiate special terms with the provider such as reduced costs or flexible contributions. On leaving employment, although any employer contribution would cease, the member can continue the policy on their own.
  • Group stakeholder pensions – This type of policy is similar to a group personal pension plan but is a group of stakeholder pension plans, meaning there are certain limits on what can be charged and the minimum contribution, set by the government. The employer can contribute to the policy and they can negotiate special terms with the provider such as reduced costs and flexible contributions.
  • Occupational pensions – These are schemes set up by an employer for the benefit of employees and directors. The employer will make contributions on behalf of the employee which he/she can add to. Some companies state that for an employee to join their scheme they have to make a minimum level of contributions. There are 2 main types:
    • Final salary (or defined benefit) – They are promised a pension in the future based on your level of service and salary at retirement or the date of leaving the scheme. The amount of pension promised may be lower if the employee leaves before the set normal retirement date or the scheme closes before then.
    • Money purchase (or defined contribution) – The amount of benefits in retirement depends on the contributions paid. The premiums are paid into a fund which grows depending on the level of returns from the underlying investments and the amount deducted in charges from the fund (in a similar way to if the premiums were paid into a personal or stakeholder pension).
  • Executive pension schemes – Executive pension schemes are often set up for an individual director or a small group of them. They tend to be money purchase plans with HM Revenue & Customs set limits on the income received, tax free cash, and life cover. Employers and directors have often used this type of pension as a tax efficient way of passing the company’s profits to owners/directors.
  • Small self administered schemes (SSAS) – This is an occupational pension scheme with less than 12 members which administers its own investments. It is usually set up by directors who tend to also be the trustees. There are HM Revenue & Customs restrictions on trusteeship and investments. The attraction of SSASs is the ability for trustee members to manage their own investments such as holding their own commercial premises used by the company in their pension fund, holding company shares, and giving loans back to the company.

The value of an investment and any income from it can go down as well as up and you might not get back the original amount invested. The past is not a guide to the future.

The value of tax benefits depends on your individual circumstances and the laws concerning these can change.

FAQ's - employees

  • The minimum age to take the benefits is usually 55. This will change to 57 in 2028.

  • The money cannot usually be accessed until age 55 (57 from 2028).

  • Deciding what to do with your old pensions will depend on what types of pension they are. We can review you existing pensions and recommend the most appropriate solutions.

  • The money you have saved will usually be payable to your beneficiaries. We can help you complete the relevant paperwork.

  • There are a number of options available at retirement. We can help you establish which retirement income solution is most suitable for you.

  • If you have been auto-enrolled then you have the option to opt-out. If you opt-out within one month of being added to the scheme, your employer is obligated to refund you any money you’ve paid in. To opt-out you will need to contact the pension provider.

    If you opt-out over a month after being added it is unlikely that you will receive any of the money you have paid back and this will remain in the pension scheme until you retire. In this case, if you have a personal pension, you may be able to transfer the payments in your workplace pension over to your personal pension. Similarly, you can also do this if you were enrolled on a workplace pension at a later date.

FAQ's - employers

  • A workplace pension scheme is a form of pension plan organised by an employer so that employees can save for their retirement. Pension contributions are taken directly from an employees’ wages and paid into the pension scheme. The employer will also contribute a percentage and the government provide contributions through tax relief.

    The minimum contributions are 5% for an employee and 3% for an employer of an employees’ ‘qualifying earnings’.

  • We can meet with you to establish what you are looking to achieve for your employees, to make sure the most appropriate pension solution is chosen.

  • Firstly, you will need to choose a pension scheme that is suitable for your employees and can be used for auto-enrolment. You will then need to calculate which employees need to be auto-enrolled into the scheme and link the scheme with your payroll system. Lastly, you will need to inform all employees of the details of the scheme. The Pensions Regulator provides a useful tool for employers which can help with setting up a scheme.

    Every three years you will also need to assess your employees for re-enrolment and complete a re-declaration.

  • This will largely depend on the number of employees being enrolled and the staff you have available to organise this. Larger companies will inevitably have more employees to enrol and therefore this will take more time and require more internal resource.

  • There are various factors that will affect how much a workplace pension costs an employer. You will need to factor in the following:

    • The cost of employer contributions – this is a minimum of 3% of your employees’ ‘qualifying earnings’
    • Fees from the pension provider – this will be dependent on the level of service provided, but they will typically charge a monthly fee for running the scheme, as well as an annual management charge (AMC).
    • The cost of internal resources to manage the administration of the pension scheme.
    • The cost of communicating regulatory messages about your scheme to your employees.
  • Employers must enrol employees who are aged between 22 and the current state pension age and earn over £833 per month (or £192 per week). Employees who do not fall into this category do not have to be auto-enrolled, but they do have a right to opt-in as long as they earn over £520 per month.

  • We can meet with you to review the existing pension arrangements for your staff. It may be the existing pension still meets the objectives of your business, but if this is no longer the case we can explore the alternatives with you.

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